TDD: What was the biggest transition from high school to college on the field?
Re'quan Boyette: Probably the level of competition. Everyone at his level is is bigger and quicker than anyone you’d see in high school. You have to not make mistakes while working your way into a completely new system. It’s not easy.
The one benefit we [freshman class] had was coming in early and learning. We wanted to have the chance to contribute in a big way this year. It was easier for us to have those extra few weeks of preseason.
It’s probably pretty easy to guess, but what was your best moment of the season?
It has to be the game against Florida State. It was a big game against a BCS team. When I made that run it was kind of proving to myself and everyone else that I can play at this level.
Obviously, much has been made of your class coming in and really beginning a turnaround at Duke. What have the coaches said on that topic?
Coach told us that we are the foundation for it. We came in and learned how to lift weights and how to be college athletes. This class has a lot of great athletes, as does the one we’re working on right now. That’s a big change for Duke.
Still, I’m sure there’s more to it than just being highly rated in high school.
Oh, no doubt. Losing can turn into a habit -- one that isn’t acceptable anymore. There were a lot of games we lost this year because we just made mistakes. We’re not trying to continue that kind of thing. We are all determined to change things at every level here. We have to stay positive, despite what people may say. We can’t accept lower standards, and we have to encourage people when they get frustrated, but we’re no longer going to accept losing.
Take us through your progression from when you got on campus through the season.
We had a lot of 6:00 AM meetings when I first got here. The terminology was a big obstacle to overcome. You had to really learn it all on the run. You can’t just sit by and watch how things happen if you want to improve because everything happens so fast. Now, after a season, I can look at things on the field and really understand what needs to happen. It’s second nature now.
What kind of role did the coaching staff play for you this season?
They were all really great. I know Cliff Harris and I would go in and meet with Coach O’Brien a lot. He had an open door for us for anything going on with football or at school.
How would you describe Coach Roof to someone who hadn’t really had a chance to meet him?
He’s a great coach and friend. Now, don’t get me wrong he’s a coach first and you never forget that. But he is very honest with you and tells you how he sees it. You can put your full trust in him because you know exactly where things stand with him. You can call him at home if you need to. He’s always available for his players and he’s a great role model.
What do you need to do to get ready for next season?
I need to get my legs a lot stronger than they are now and I need to continue to work on reacting to reads, and improve my pass blocking so I don’t give up sacks.